The purpose of the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes 8th edition 2013 (the Code) is to promote the ethical, humane and responsible care and use of animals used for scientific purposes. The ethical framework and governing principles set out in the Code  provide guidance for investigators, teachers, institutions, animal ethics committees and all people involved in the care and use of animals for scientific purposes.

The Code encompasses all aspects of the care and use of animals for scientific purposes where the aim is to acquire, develop or demonstrate knowledge or techniques in any area of science—for example, medicine, biology, agriculture, veterinary and other animal sciences, industry and teaching. It includes their use in research, teaching associated with an educational outcome in science, field trials, product testing, diagnosis, the production of biological products and environmental studies.

The Code provides an ethical framework and governing principles to guide the decisions and actions of all those involved in the care and use of animals. It details the responsibilities of investigators, animal carers, institutions, and animal ethics committees, and describes processes for accountability.

The Code applies to the care and use of all live non-human vertebrates and cephalopods. It applies throughout the animal’s involvement in activities and projects, including acquisition, transport, breeding, housing, husbandry, the use of the animal in a project, and the provisions for the animal at the completion of their use.

The Code is endorsed by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the Australian Research Council, the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation and Universities Australia. It replaces the Australian code of practice for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes, 7th edition 2004.

Compliance with the Code is a prerequisite for receipt of NHMRC funding. 

See publication: Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes 8th edition (2013)

Further Information

  • NHMRC working committees involved with the development of the Code - See downloads
  • Information about the public consultation undertaken during the development of the 8th edition of the Code, including links to non-confidential submissions, can be viewed on NHMRC's Public Consultation website. 

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